Thursday, December 27, 2007

Keane in search of wise men as his team fail to close stable door...

The Reds heaped yet more pressure onto the shoulders of rookie manager and United hero Roy Keane on Boxing Day as Fergie's side took full advantage of the Black Cats generosity to make it a very happy Christmas for all followers of the Red Devils as the visitors ran out comfortable four-nil winners.

The Sunderland defence once again left open the proverbial stable door for Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and then Ronaldo to score first-half goals in a game that in the end amounted to little more than a training exercise for United.

The manner of the first goal will give Roy Keane and his defenders nightmares, as Rooney was allowed the freedom of the Stadium of Light to score too easily. It was a goal that was fully in keeping with the Panto season and the home fans would no doubt have been shouting 'he's behind you' as Rooney found himself in acres of space which gave him enough time to place his drilled effort beyond Gordon. In point of fact the £9m 'keeper got nowhere near saving any of United's goals, so clinical was the Reds finishing.

United were all easy on the eye as they picked-off Sunderland at will with their swift counter-attacking football. It came as no surprise that thirty minutes into the game Louis Saha doubled the Reds lead after another passage of slick first-time passing, as once again the Sunderland back-four were opened-up in a move which ended with the Frenchman skillfully prodding home his first time effort leaving Gordon stranded on his line.

While it was good to watch for Reds fans it was another very uncomfortable afternoon for the home supporters and their manager who must now surely be feeling the heat after his team sunk to second from last in the table. Of the bottom eight sides in the Premier League only Boro and Sunderland have yet to sacrifice their manager...

Just before the break, Ronaldo added to Sunderland's miserable Christmas with a picture-book goal from fully 25 yards when he crashed home arguably his free-kick to date for United. All too often the Portuguese winger opts for power alone with his arrow like straight drives, but this time he went for finesse over brute-force when he curled his drive around and over the Black Cats wall. Fantastico.

Somewhat predictably United eased-off the gas in the second half after Fergie no doubt called off the dogs in a bid to save Sunderland and Keano further embarrassment. However, the Reds weren't done with as Louis Saha converted a second half penalty after Nani had been felled the box.

United had arrived at Sunderland looking for three points that would see them go top of the league table. Keane for his part, must now surely go in search of at least three wise men in a bid to stem the flow of goals which if not checked could see the Black Cats relegated again. It is not looking good for Keane or Sunderland.

For United, they head into the New Year in the number one spot and top of the tree after Arsenal failed to win at Portsmouth and contrary to Fergie's recently expressed view, it looks like it's going to be a two-horse-race between the Red Devils and the Gunners.

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